Thursday, February 16, 2012

Texas, 2/15/12, Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park

On the Road Again Wednesday Feb. 15.

Across from our campsite. Sometimes a pond, sometimes dry land. One day the gates are opened for the irrigation one direction. Several days later from the opposite direction. Sometime ponds, sometime dry land. The Camp hosts were great in informing us this would happen but it didn't affect us.

These are sediment deposits. Huge, 30 - 40 maybe 50 - 60 feet tall.

You know things are big in Texas!

We stopped at the Panther Junction Visitor Center. They had a display about a PACKRAT. Had to take a picture!!!!

Interesting red bark tree.

We got our campsite at Chisos Basin.

These birds were by our campsite. They were very busy scurrying for things on the ground. Interesting thing, they preferred being in the shade. Temp. was only about 56 degrees.

View of the mountains while we had lunch.

Headed out to hike the Chisos Basin Loop. 1.6 miles. The gap between the two mountain ranges is called The Window. Many of the easy trails were closed because a mountain lion attacked a child 9 days ago. The Park Officials think they captured the offending mountain lion. This was
considered a safe trail.

Casa Grande Mountain straight ahead, 7325 feet. MIt was very different from the desert of yesterday's hike.

More shrubs but still you can see the effect of of their drought. Ellie is standing by a sotol. They have a very tall flowering stem. See a lot of them in the landscape.

Tequila anyone? I think this is the agave.

Gives all its energy for the blooms and then it dies. They must be impressive to see in bloom. We are not seeing many flowers because of the drought plus we are a little too early.

First time we have seen lichens. Area is shady.

A healthy looking plant.

This one gave its all.

Phil spotted two deer.

It is amazing how nature works. The color of the deer blended in so closely with the shrubbery.

How majestic all the mountains are.

We headed back to the store at Rio Grande Village. It was like old home week. We said hi to 3 people we recently met: Heather, met on Monday; Dick, met on Tuesday and Cheryl, met on the trail today.

We went to a Ranger led program about Ansel Adams and The National Parks. We were encouraged to pick a subject. These bushes fascinate me. Because it was 6:15 the coloring is so different from during the bright overhead sun.

The cactus also look different.

Color enhances the mountains.

Pink clouds. Not photo enhanced.

Driving back to Chisos Basin was a little tricky. There were 3 TIGHT switchbacks. One at 15 mph. Two at 10 mph, plus a 15 % grade. Phil is a very good driver and got us back to our campsite safe and sound.

Wish I could take a picture to show how many, many stars we can see. Maybe we are seeing Jupiter and Saturn! It is so awesome.

Location:Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park

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